“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame
by an encounter with another human being.”
― Albert Schweitzer
Good Day LifeSchool Community ~ Thank you for a record-breaking day of connections! What a buzz to be able to see, for reasons unbeknownst to me, the spread n’ sprawl of cyber-celebration. Yahoo.
And on we delve into the miraculous adventure called leadership, mentorship, parenthood, LIFE.
Compassion as a ‘curriculum’ has not yet been brought into existence (at least not that I have found), but I am sure you will agree it most certainly should be. It is a glorious age in which we live, that celebrates and encourages the inward journey, self-reflection, selfishness in the spirit of self-fullness that allows us to have ‘the right stuff’ to offer the world. And yet, in this I do believe we need to be clear about what we DO once we come-to after retreat.
I’ve been volunteering since the age of about 15, with seniors (just love their wisdom and call-it-like-it-is feistiness), with hospice patients and their families (am so moved by how they courageously endure and somehow find sparkles of joy and laughter amidst the looming storms), and in the world at large (love that small anonymous actions can shift the world without any expectation or obligation).
Being of service is what alights my spirit and grounds me in the truth of my existence,
I am here to offer love in any and all ways that the world asks of me.
There is no greater joy in my life, than when I become still within my soul and watch and SEE the world around me and ask, “who needs me and how I can I truly help them?” Oh and the answers come in such unexpected ways, that always bring a lesson and a smile.
Little side-story… One of the reasons I fell in love with my, now husband, Todd was because he sees this sparkle of joy I get at giving and honors it full-on. We were dating at the time and he came to know that I stop, every chance I get, and speak to homeless people or people asking on the streets. I love this connection, in fact I cross the street just to make sure we are on the same side:) My objective is not just to give money, although I always carry change for this purpose, but it is to connect, to look into their eyes and let them know that there are people in the world who care about them, just where they are at, for just who they are. I don’t know their story and I don’t expect them to share it with a stranger necessarily, but I want them to know, no matter what, someone cares enough to SEE them. The relationships I have built in even brief moments have been some of the most memorable of my life.
Back to the ‘moment’. Todd and I were driving under the QEW in Toronto, along Lakeshore Blvd. and stopped at a light. We’d been dating for a couple of months so he’d seen me in action a number of times. Well, I was on the phone and this young guy approached the car. Before I could reach for my purse, Todd dug into his pocket, pulled out a handful of loonies and quarters and mouthed the words, “Here Jenny, give him these.” I was dumb-founded. It is one thing to have this little quest within myself, but it is quite another to have a person not only honor you in that, but to join along for the ride.
To this day, my best friend and fellow pilgrim on this quest for LIFE, Todd, always carries a healthy pocket full of coins. Bless him.
Isn’t THIS the kind of world we want to live in?
One in which we SEE each other, and find simple yet profound ways
to show that we truly care, that our lives are not so busy
that we can’t stop and be present,
in relationship, with another human being.
I want my children to live in a world such as this.
I want them to BE a part of the Action that brings about a world like this.
And so if they are to learn, I must teach by example.
Compassion in Action 4 LIFE
~ Stop and acknowledge those who are ‘giving’ and ‘asking’ on the street. Our boys now get the change from Daddy’s pocket and not only give, but if that person is sharing a talent, we stop and watch, listen and then tell them how much we enjoyed it
~ If we can’t stop or we hear of a situation that needs our thoughts and prayers that is far away, then we do a little something called ‘Sparkle Thoughts”. (more on this in a post later this week:)
~ Spending time with someone who truly needs a companion. My 82 year old father is a beautiful part of our world. We plan dinners, take him to doctor’s appointments all together, take long drives through the country or along the lake, go shopping, play scrabble and UNO and Crazy 8s.
~ Find ways to give to others in the community that need us. Last Christmas we planned a day for children and families to take a fun bus-ride (first time for many) to the stores to buy presents for those in need. Then we all gathered together, wrapped and packed up the boxes and took them to the organization that would distribute.
~ And then there’s just the day to day, buying coffee for the guard at one of the construction sites who always waves etc…
These are the actions, but it is the conversations that we have about
‘why’ we give and ‘what life is really all about’ that are precious and life-altering.
This will be a theme over the next while so, I’m sure we will share more along the way.
For today I wish you well and hope to hear of your stories of Compassion in Action and how you make this part of your Curriculum and your Life.
* Thank you to Yoganonymous for this amazing Compassion pic. You can find them at www.yoganonymous.com